For many people, a vegan diet can be a highly nutritious choice and they can feel significantly healthier for it. If properly done, a vegan diet can be low in saturated fats and high in rich nutrients.
Before we go any further, let’s discuss what a vegan diet really means. A vegan diet excludes the consumption of any animal products, including eggs, dairy, honey and gelatin. Some vegans also make the decision to abstain from purchasing products that are tested on animals or that are animal-sourced in anyway (for example, cosmetics, leather products, and clothes).
Why Go Vegan?
There are many reasons individuals choose to pursue a vegan diet or lifestyle, these can include preventing animal cruelty, pursuing a healthier lifestyle, or environmental considerations. But whatever your reasons for going vegan, there are numerous health benefits to this dietary choice and a vegan diet can have an extremely positive impact on your health.
Let’s take a look at some of the top health benefits of a vegan lifestyle.
1. Choosing the Vegan Lifestyle Lowers Your Risk of Cancer
It is widely accepted and even scientifically proven that meat eaters are at a higher risk of colorectal and prostate cancers. By choosing the vegan diet, which is meat-free and has far higher consumption rates of fruits, vegetables, and vitamin C, veganism is believed to help protect people from a variety of cancers.
2. Vegans Have Healthier Bones
One of the main deterrents for people choosing to go vegan is the absence of dairy products. Many people assume that dairy is the only place you can get calcium from and we all know that calcium is extremely important for healthy bones. However, as a vegan, there are numerous other places you can get calcium from and vegetables such as kale contain more calcium than milk – and they’re much better for you!
As a result of high quantities of vegetable intake, vegans have been known to more efficiently absorb calcium than meat eaters.
3. As a Vegan, You Have a Reduced Risk of Obesity
Having a vegan diet is extremely healthy and often means that vegans consume far fewer calories than those on a standard meat and dairy diet. This means that vegans tend to have a reduced risk of obesity and they even have lower blood pressure, in general, compared to vegetarians who include milk in their diets.
A lower risk of obesity means that vegans have a far lower risk of mortality from heart disease or strokes than others.
4. If You Suffer from Migraines, Veganism Could be the Solution
Anyone that has suffered a migraine before knows how awful they can be. Nobody likes migraines but often migraines can be directly triggered by a person’s food intake and most migraine sufferers are told to avoid trigger foods such as dairy and alcohol.
By following a vegan diet, migraine sufferers tend to see a significant reduction in the number and severity of their migraines simply as a result of the changes in the food they are eating.
5. Veganism Can be Beneficial for Your Skin
Have you always wanted clear, radiant skin? Going vegan could be the answer for you. Dairy products are thought by dermatologists to have a significant effect on the body’s production of acne, causing skin to become more acne prone. Therefore, the absence of dairy products in the vegan diet can be extremely beneficial for your appearance – clearing your skin and giving it that lovely radiant glow.
Before You Go Vegan
If you are still deciding whether to go vegan or not, make sure you do your research and you don’t just jump straight in. To be a healthy vegan (and yes, it is possible to be an unhealthy vegan), you need to maintain full nutritional balance as vegans can be more prone to missing vital nutrients.
To take the first step to becoming a vegan, I would recommend gradually reducing the number of animal products in your diet before excluding animal products altogether. This will help your body adjust to the changes and will give you the time to ensure your body is still going to receive the right nutrients on a restricted diet as it did when you enjoyed both meat and dairy. If you are unsure about going vegan or you would like to know more, get in touch with a dietician and discuss your options with them.